Irgens-Jensen studied piano with Nils Larsen while a philology student at the University of Oslo. He began composing in 1920, and the radical nature of his work attracted some interest. Irgens-Jensen's oratorio Heimferd (for solo choir and orchestra) won first prize in a national competition, and is considered a national monument of sorts for Norway. The song Altar is one of his most familiar works.
During the Second World War, Irgens-Jensen composed several songs and orchestral works to patriotic texts; due to the restrictions imposed by the Nazis, these works had to be distributed anonymously and illegally. Irgens-Jensen is often characterized as a neo-Classical composer.
- Violin Sonata in B-flat (1923)
- Tema con variazioni (1925)
- Piano Quintet (1927)
- Passacaglia (1927)
- Heimferd (1930)
- Der Gott und die Bajadere (1932)
- Partita Sinfonica (1938)
- Pastorale religioso (1939)
- Symphony in D minor (1942)
- Canto d'omaggio (1950)
- Japanischer Frühling (1957)
- Air (1959)
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